Monday, 28 April 2008

Sheep Shopping

Following my supporting Kath on her horse shopping mission the other week, she kindly returned the favour and accompanied me to pick up my new little flock member this weekend.

Bartistown Ruby is a black blettet sokket shetland (or a little bandit as Chris described her). She has the most divine fine fleece and a beautiful little fluke tail. I can't wait to take her to a couple of shows this summer.

On introducing her to the others she seemed a little overwhelmed at first. But soon settled down and got to know her new field mates. Of course she is half sister to Rosy, Rebbecca and Rachel and I wasn't too surprised that she revealed that she did indeed recognise them. They soon split into their usual groups, but now they number five and four.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Pssst, wanna buy a pup?

We found this dodgy looking character in our local the other night. Luckily we soon identified him as Stuart pulling a silly face and having his new little field trials hopeful tucked in his jacket. Juno is the daughter of Stuart's gun dog Teal. She'll be trained as a working dog like her mum.
I got a cuddle but the pup was more interested in the bar!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Working boy

My little man is back at school and doing very nicely. Hes starting to get the idea about driving now, although you can still tell that he's uncomfortable and a bit unsure as to why I've spent ages teaching him to bring me sheep yet now want him to take them away!

He is starting to "feel" the sheep better and anticipates their movements. Although he wasn't quick enough to stop one escapee who got away because of a mistake I made. He returned her to the little flock with no difficulty though.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Fencing Finished

And about time too! Wal and I finally finished the fence to allow us to move the sheep into a field that they couldn't escape from.

We really slogged to get it finished and I discovered that I'm now perfectly capable of whacking fence posts in with a drive-all on my own. Who needs a gym?! All that work seemed to make Wal go a bit crooked!

The girls were thrilled to be in their new pad and pranced about like lambs... for about five minutes before trying to work out the best escape route. No girls, I think Wal has the gate covered!

Many thanks to everyone else who helped along the way. Especially Louise for working on her holiday, and Dad for working in the snow!

Friday, 18 April 2008

French Otter!

it seems that one our local otters is rather keen on frogs legs!
I found these piles of massacred frogs by the side of a pond. Only their legs are missing since these are the most worthwhile parts eating... just ask the French!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Going Off Road

It was definitely high time for a new vehicle. With 178,000 on the clock, a leaky roof and a fog light that sometimes flashed on and off with the indicators, my little red polo has finally neared the end of his life so regretfully has now been replaced with my "little jeepy thing" also known as shed on wheels.

It was quite a novelty taking my own vehicle off road when I went water vole surveying at Warcop.
Speaking of voles, the animals that I released last year have finally put in an appearance to show that at least some of them have survived the winter. This poo might not look very exciting but it is proof that we are on our way to restoring the water vole population in this area. Now I just have to organise the next batch of voles that are due to go out in the next few weeks.

I also had a look at our new notice board that will tell visitors to the site about our project. It's very smart and has cute little vole footprints carved into it.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Horse Shopping!

Today Kath and I went off to the East coast on a very special mission.
Kath has had her eye on a rather nice young Lusitano mare for a while and today was decision time! We set off to have a look at Mi Mi (Kath's second visit to her), cheque book in hand, hoping that she was as lovely as Kath remembered.

Now I'm no horse expert, although Kath has been teaching me both in the saddle and out of it, but my job was to try to lend support and try to give an impartial opinion!

The journey over was quite long and very wet. We were rather disappointed that we'd be seeing a bedraggled Mi Mi but on arrival she didn't let that put her off her stride. After Kath had run an expert hand over her, Mi Mi was let loose in the school where she showed off her beautiful paces.

I noticed that she stood with her hind legs well under her and that she extended beautifully when in canter (maybe I am learning something!). She is nearly three and still dark coloured, but the grey that will eventually grow through completely is beginning to show. apparently she will eventually be dapple grey!

After Mi Mi had proved herself as not just a pretty face, being very polite in the stable and particularly complementary about Kath's hat, money changed hands and we are looking forward to welcoming Mi Mi to Cumbria in about six weeks time. Kath will be breaking her herself and no doubt there will be progress reports on this here soon!

Belated Birthday

Having written the below post, I realised that I had completely missed my own birthday off my blog! So here are a few photos of a birthday walk. My friends Kate and Dave (with dogs Marley and Bella), and Paul came along for a healthy day in the bracing Cumbrian March weather, followed by a warm up in the pub :o) We were few in the end due to several inconsiderate people holding weddings on the same day and calling fellow walkers away!

As usual, people feature very little in these photos!

At gates, Marley, Bella and Fox sit and wait patiently for the pack to catch up and go through in order.

"Dave you're soooo slow!!"

"That's more like it."

Go on Kate, Kick it... KICK IT!

Happy dogs... running free...

And coming back for more :o)

Monday, 7 April 2008

Wrong again!

I saw this on Nancy's A Shepherds Voice, blog spot. And you know what? She's right, it's rubbish!

Your Birthdate: March 20

You are a virtual roller coaster of emotions, and most people enjoy the ride.

I HATE showing my emotions other than in a joke-dramatic sort of way.

Your mood tends to set the tone of the room, and when you're happy, this is a good thing.

When you get in a dark mood, watch out - it's very hard to get you out of it.

But no problem... if I'm in that bad a mood you wont see me!

It's sometimes hard for you to cheer up, and your gloom can be contagious.

Great so now I'm a miserable cow who makes all her friends miserable too!

Your strength: Your warm heart

Hmmm... I thought it was my beer drinking ability...

Your weakness: Trouble controlling your emotions

I'm a control freak when it comes to emotions!!

Your power color: Black

Dark, dark dark, yea that's me!

Your power symbol: Musical note

Might give them that one. Sheepdog whistle might have worked better though... though it doesn't seem to give me much power over Fox!

Your power month: February

The month when I have least power... Chris's birthday...